Well, if I’m covering one show that Nick R’s waxed rhapsodic about, why not check out another one for myself, too?
Way back when I first started doing Watch & Learn, the column was titled “What the F@#$ Did I Just Watch?!?!” - - presumably because, as the new guy, I was expected to be continually flabbergasted by the anime I was viewing. Honestly, it didn’t work out that way most of the time (part of the reason we changed the column title, actually), but I definitely thought about that old titling while I was closing the window after this episode was done.
I’m not asking “WTF?” because this show got anywhere close to maxing out my weirdness dials or anything. No, I’ve seen weirder, and I’ve enjoyed weirder. What the question boils down to is clarity. I thought the surrealism was doled out in a cluttered and obfuscating way. It would’ve been hard to follow even if the main character wasn’t a paperweight girl with the power to summon a seemingly infinite supply of office supplies out of her sleeves.
What’s more, if you take away all the scatterbrain cuts to material which (I assume?) has been culled from later episodes in the series, there ain’t a lot that actually happens in this episode. Guy catches a girl from a fall, they talk in a classroom, she threatens him with a couple staplers and… then they go talk to somebody else? There aren’t any sharp hooks in there.
Maybe I’d be feeling this more if it was the dub and not the sub. I rather enjoyed it when NATURAL BORN KILLERS did similar things with borderline-subliminal title cards and integrated sub-titles. Here, it all just kind of flashes by before it can even register, prompting a shrug instead of a gasp from me.
It’s really too bad - - the girl's stationary gimmick is actually kind of cool.
Watch this episode, "HItagi Crab, Part 1” here and decide for yourself.